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Follow your dreams: Adriaan Nijen Twilhaar Just one day before the Minister Mentor gave a great speech on how Singapore has to seek new ways (less prohibitive ways, he emphasized) of thinking, I sat down with Adriaan Nijen Twilhaar, the Dutch founder of the controversial magazine Manazine for a coffee and a chat. ...

Control Me.
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"We are ruled more effectively than any large group of people have been ruled in the history of the planet."

A government must control people in order to give them what they want. Food and drink, a decent roof, a nice quiet place to take your lover, skiing or snow boarding in the winter, vacations to the coast in the summer. We want Peace and Prosperity. During war and revolution, some, if not all the aforementioned things, become unavailable.

Currently, however, a person who works extremely hard and is a bit inventive (or is just extremely lucky) can bathe in the material comforts that the present rulers afford us, provided one thing: they must play the game.

By that I mean they must play by the rules that the powers-that-be prescribe. Sure everybody cheats - some more than others - but in the end, we all have to bow down to THE MAN now and then.

Unless we want to be completely marginalized we have to agree to be ruled. Most people enjoy the comfort of life during relative Peace and Prosperity, more than they hate to be ruled. A person likes to feel free but doesn't really want to suffer the consequences that war and revolution bring. We ask our leaders for absolute security without realizing that by trying to provide it, our leaders must rule absolutely. We want to feel safe but at the same time feel free to do what we want.

So therefore effective leadership should rule absolutely without appearing to do so. That is a tough job. Why would anyone want it? Who has got it? Should they keep it?

Why is fairly black and white. We are competitive by nature. One of our first talents as children is usually to hit someone before we can even hold our heads up. We tend to fight and claw to the very end of life for what it can offer us, usually with disappointing sentiment on our part as to our own achievements irrespective of the grandness of those achievements.

We all to some extent strive not to be at the bottom of the heap.

If you are in charge you take a lot less sh*t. We want to rule. Ruling rules. The rulers are simply the most ruling dudes. It used to just be a guy with some talent for speech and a big talent for swinging a club. Things have gotten a bit more complicated in the last 50,000 years, but not that much if you think about it.

Now, instead of a club, you've got smart bombs and the IMF. At any given time and in any given system, someone is going to want to rule and they will be powerful (you know, ruling dudes).

Furthermore, someone has GOT to rule, otherwise it's just madness: all that Peace and Prosperity and vacations and snow boarding go right out the window. So in my estimation, we largely allow ourselves to be ruled, but even if we didn't, leadership would be forced upon us anyway.

If you can't beat em, you might as well join em.

By whom we are ruled is a little shakier. Anyone who believes that Obama, Clinton and the like are our true rulers is naive. They are simply the representatives of the actual rulers who can be described as rich b*stards. These b*stards are only b*stards to me because I'm not one of them.

I'm sure if I had as much money as Bill Gates, I'd be holding onto it like a Titanic life boat as well. Sure, I'd drop a little money to a charity once in a while, save some forests which I particularly like, but what am I gonna do with all that cash? Save the world?

No way.

I'm gonna rule the world! I'd use the current WTO/IMF/NATO/NAFTA/FDIC/FBI/CIA/CNBC system to help me stay rich and keep getting richer. Although I'd be one of the people really running the show I'd have the government as a scapegoat for when people complain. But despite a bit of demonstrating, and a few subversive monthly rags, no one is doing a hell of alot of complaining. So how good are our beloved tyrants doing their jobs?

We are ruled more effectively than any large group of people have been ruled in the history of the planet. The rules have been set up in such a way that submission to the authority of the ruling class generally equals prosperity.

Sure, one could argue that working 40 hours per week for an insurance company barely pays the car payment, the mortgage, the food bill, barely keeps the kids in decent clothes, and that this type of life is extremely unsatisfying, and one would be correct. The point is that it does pay these bills and no matter how much you complain about it, it doesn't affect the reception of your satellite dish. Who ever said that life was supposed to be satisfying?

For tens of thousands of years life was brutish and short. For many it still is. But for those of us fortunate enough to be living in the right place at the right time (i.e. anyone reading this) it is a piece of cake.

Sure, we've all got our own personal struggles, but the struggle to simply survive isn't one of them. (I can just picture a guy, hooked up to about a million dollars in hospital equipment paid for by his insurance company, getting mad at me right now, screaming at me that I don't know what it is to struggle).

The rich b*stards make it a cool place for you and I to live. Lots of food, lots of parties. Trains, planes, and automobiles. Clothing. Mobile phones. Snowboards, surfboards, and skis. They dare us to turn in these items as we overthrow the system and predictably, we cower.

They have absolute power and have had it since WWII. They have finally put their differences aside and now it is just maintenance. The plan is simple: Keep the ducks in line. Make sure little countries don't get any ideas about self-determination.

Keep a big eye on China, try not to piss them off and hope they stay isolationist. Keep an eye on revolutionary ideas, combat them with material prizes. Let the protesters have their protests but beat them down once in a while so they'll feel like they pose a threat. Lets face it, the whole thing is a big sham. I can't change the world, and neither can you, but why would we want to?

We are being completely tyrannized but at the same time being rewarded for sucking the box. It will continue to get harder and harder to see the face of the hand that rules us as we move into an age where we literally cannot believe what we see, and if they can completely disappear from our consciousness, if they can truly make us feel like we are determining our own destinies, without having to give up the material rewards, then what difference does it make if we are or if we aren't tyrannized?

Rock the boat all you like, it isn't going to turn over. It's safe, and I like it that way. I say let them keep their jobs, maybe even give them a raise.

Actually, scratch that: they'll do it themselves.

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